People’s Republic of China (Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region)
Guangxi and Yunnan are important "gateways" for trade between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the rest of the GMS. Development has been slow compared with most provinces in the PRC. However, on the back of the country’s impressive economic performance in recent decades, both Guangxi and Yunnan have benefited from improved infrastructure and social services. The PRC is looking to further build on their strategic location by making large transport investments aimed at strengthening connectivity with other GMS countries. It is also actively promoting increased GMS cooperation in sectors such as agriculture, education, energy, the environment, human resource development, and health.
|Population||48 million (2017)|
|GDP at PPP (current international dollars)||466 billion (2017)|
|GDP per capita at PPP (current international dollars)||9,700 (2017)|
|Population||56 million (2017)|
|GDP at PPP (current international dollars)||575 billion (2017)|
|GDP per capita at PPP (current international dollars)||10,194 (2017)|
Although much of the rugged land in Guangxi and Yunnan cannot be farmed, agriculture is still the livelihood mainstay for millions of rural people. Yunnan has a sizable portion of the PRC’s rubber trees, and the province is famous for its tea. Guangxi produces a large sugarcane crop and grows many varieties of fruit. Moreover, each has a wide range of agricultural products found nowhere else, including medicinal plants. Guangxi and Yunnan are both looking to further leverage their positions as “gateways” for agricultural trade between the GMS and the rest of the PRC. They are working to increase agribusiness investments throughout the subregion.
The PRC has the largest power system in the world and is the leading producer of electricity from renewable sources. Yunnan Province has become an important source of clean energy for the country, as well as a hub for the transregional oil and gas. Both Guangxi and Yunnan have extensive hydropower resources, and they are engaged in power-trade and interconnection projects with neighboring countries such as the Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam.
Guangxi and Yunnan boast some of the most varied landscapes in the subregion, including glacial mountains and large limestone karst formations. They are both home to a high proportion of the PRC’s animal and plant species, many of which are endemic. Guangxi and Yunnan have both made great strides toward establishing biodiversity corridors to engender forest connectivity among protected areas. In fact, the PRC is a GMS leader in promoting transboundary collaboration between countries on biodiversity conservation along borders.
The PRC’s investments in human resource development are helping to modernize and diversify the economies of Guangxi and Yunnan. Technical and vocational education and training have been priorities, with a particular emphasis on rural and ethnic-minority populations. The PRC is a leader in GMS cooperation on education, each year providing thousands of scholarships for students from across the subregion, many of whom attend universities in Guangxi and Yunnan. It also actively promotes cooperation on health issues, with a focus on border areas. Further, the PRC is looking to strengthen existing partnerships with its GMS neighbors on health security, health training, research, information sharing, and disease management.
ICT is supporting socioeconomic development in the PRC. The expansion of internet and other ICT services is enabling thousands of rural communities to overcome geographic isolation and to access new economic and educational opportunities. ICT is also playing a key role in strengthening Guangxi and Yunnan as the PRC’s trade “gateways” to the other GMS countries. New e-commerce platforms and zones have been created to boost cross-border trade. The PRC also actively supports the GMS E-Commerce Business Alliance.
With towering glacial mountains, unique limestone karst formations, and pristine forests abundant in wildlife, Guangxi and Yunnan attract huge numbers of domestic tourists each year. Many visitors come to enjoy the local culture, especially in Yunnan, which is the PRC’s most ethnically diverse province. The PRC is looking to attract more international visitors by improving destination marketing and tourism services.
Since the 1990s, transport infrastructure has been a priority investment area for the PRC. Both Guangxi and Yunnan now have well-developed road and railway networks. Today, paved roads connect the vast majority of remote communities, helping to provide economic opportunities for rural families. The PRC is actively collaborating with its GMS partners to strengthen subregional railway and road linkages, with major investments planned for new GMS transport infrastructure.
Guangxi and Yunnan are trade “gateways” connecting the PRC to the GMS countries and other Southeast Asian countries. Major exports include electrical machinery and agricultural products such as rubber and sugar. The PRC and Viet Nam have already initiated cross-border trac rights for trucks and buses, and are now working together to develop more ecient inspection and quarantine procedures. Eorts are also under way to improve the customs and transport processes at land ports on the borders with the Lao PDR and Myanmar.
In addition to the provincial capitals of Nanning and Kunming, both Guangxi and Yunnan have large secondary cities. Since the turn of the century, major investments in urban transport and housing have improved commerce and the quality of life in many locales. Today, urban development is intensifying in secondary cities and towns located along the economic corridors. Both Guangxi and Yunnan are diligently working to create better urban solid waste, wastewater, and flood-control facilities, and to manage their air pollution. The PRC is also actively sharing its urban development expertise and experience with the other GMS countries.
GMS Program Officials and Contacts in the PRC
- LU Jin (Mr)
Deputy Director General
Department of International Economic and Financial Cooperation
Ministry of Finance
- ZHAN Shu (Mr)
Department of International Economic and Financial Cooperation
Ministry of Finance
The Luang Prabang Station along the Lao PDR-People's Republic of China (PRC) railway is set to be completed in August, notes the China Radio International Vientiane. It will have two platforms, four tracks, and a station hall that can accommodate 1,200 passengers. The station’s roof incorporates a distinctive “three vertical lines, one diagonal” design in the steel structure.
The planned Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR)-People’s Republic of China (PRC) expressway aims to improve the transport of goods and people, promote production, and boost commerce, investment, tourism and services, in line with the Government of Lao PDR's objectives. It spans 440 kilometers and comprises four sections in total. Section 1 running between Vientiane and Vangvieng, is already in use.
The move to clean energy and carbon neutrality in the People’s Republic of China will require conservation, conversion to new energy sources beyond coal and changing people’s energy consumption habits.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has allowed Cambodia to export fresh mangoes directly to its market after the PRC’s General Administration of Customs (GACC) certified 37 mango plantations and five packaging factories as compliant with phytosanitary and packaging standards on 26 April. GACC experts from the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region held a virtual inspection of mango plantations and steam treatments plants on 10 March.
The Vientiane Saysettha Development Zone (SDZ) is being developed into a low-carbon demonstration model by the Lao-China Joint Venture Investment Co., Ltd. (LCJV). Low carbon demonstration zones hope to address climate change and green and low-carbon transition, and boost regional cooperation with the PRC.
The General Administration of Customs of the PRC (GACC) has opened the Dongxing border gate in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region to facilitate fruit imports from Thailand on 29 April 2021. Thailand’s Department of Agriculture expects this to lead to a significant rise in the export of durian to the PRC.
A planned 873-kilometer China-Thailand High Speed Rail will connect Bangkok, Thailand, to Kunming city in Yunnan Province, People's Republic of China (PRC). On 29 March, transportation authorities from the Government of Thailand and construction firms from the PRC signed the construction agreement for the first phase of the railway.
A new cross-border rail freight service from Suzhou, People’s Republic of China (PRC), to Hanoi, Viet Nam was launched by the East Asia Region section of Nippon Express. Suzhou West Railway Station is located amid industrial clusters of eastern PRC.
The use of rail transport makes possible reliable lead times of 8-10 days. Ocean freight from PRC to Southeast Asia is usually challenged with constraints in space and reliable transport routes and schedule.
The Government of Lao PDR and the Electricite du Laos Transmission Company Limited (EDL-T), the joint venture between China Southern Power Grid and Electricite du Laos of the Lao PDR, have signed a Concession Agreement on 11 March. The agreement states that EDL-T will serve as the country's national power grid operator under the supervision of the Government of Lao PDR. It will invest, construct, and operate power grids (230 kilovolts and above), and implement grid interconnection projects between Lao PDR and its neighbors.
This publication provides an analysis of key challenges and opportunities for the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) to realize its development goals by 2030 and beyond.